Baby Boomers—Your ‘Bucket List’ Beckons, Oui?

Eiffel Tour at nightValentine’s Day (in the U.S.) passed by in ‘a beat of the heart’. Nevertheless, love, romance, and treasured moments shared with friends and loved ones are timeless—alive and well! The roses may have wilted, chocolate and cabernet sweetly savored, but listen up, there is more! There’s Paris in springtime, and this city does not disappoint.

Bonjour! Take a quick study in French, make flight and hotel reservations, and you’re good to go! Not quite that simple, but almost. Think about it boomers, time is of the essence—you’ve dreamed that you would, so now you should!

Experiencing classic Hollywood movies of the 50’s and 60’s created dreams of visiting Paris one day. Movies such as Carrousel with Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire, tenderly danced (Few of us boomers ballroom dance!) through the Louvre, and the fragrant gardens of the Palace of Versailles. And remember in Charade, when Audrey Hepburn was romanced by a distinguished Cary Grant, a mysterious stranger? Movies didn’t exaggerate—Paris is a thrilling adventure.

Since we must, let’s get to the practical. March is a budget-friendly month—the coldest months have passed (40-50 degree average temperature in March). The sun will shine, the wind may blow, raindrops may fall, but in Paris, who cares? There’s too much to do and see.

The high, more expensive tourist season begins later in spring through fall. The euro is currently at $1.25, moving towards $1.21, the lowest against the U.S. dollar in nearly 18 months. Perhaps the trend will continue, and ‘bucket list’ travel to Europe will soar. Pack light with clothes to layer, a sweater and jacket … and gals, a couple ‘makes me feel good’ skirts or dresses for evening wear. Don’t over-pack! Hotel rooms and elevators are really small. Walking is the name of the game: take comfortable shoes, clothes you can layer, sweaters and jacket, umbrella, or rain poncho. (No problem—obviously you can buy anything you forget.)

Take a taxi from the airport ($50)—don’t rent a car! Use the hop-on–hop-off buses to see everything in the city. Pick and choose—it’s impossible to see it all, unless you happen to be a boomer with a surplus of time and money.

In March, hotels welcome visitors with package deals. The crowds are less; food, chocolate and wine are still the best. Sidewalk café’s are uniquely Parisian—whether sitting comfy and cozy inside, or lounging with an espresso or glass of wine outside. The hundreds of sidewalk café’s are a Paris pastime that fulfills the expectation of Paris—relaxing, casual, delicious … entertaining to people-watch!

Lull away the hours with French cheese (fro mage), paired with reds, whites, or sparkling wines. Staff in cafés and restaurants, hotels and shops are professionals; they are very polite and expect to be treated the same; address them as “Monsieur” or “Mademoiselle” or “Madame.” Merci!

So what are sweet dreams (beaux rêves) made of in Paris? …besides chocolate éclairs and crème brulee! Ask yourself, what are my ‘bucket list’ sites to see?

Take your list and take your time to savor the history, the architecture, the culture, the artists … the Paris experience!

In Paris, the idyllic landmarks and museums are many (musée, closed Tuesday). The Louvre is a respite in history and beauty—words can’t express its’ magnificence. And of course the Eiffel Tower can’t be missed (Go up on stairs or elevator; two restaurants, spectacular views); the historic Arc de Triomphe stands out at164 feet tall; and Champs-Elysées, the most famous avenue in Paris.

Delightful Suggestions:

Musée de L’Orangerie – Enter the vestibule, “a peaceful haven.” Completely white, oval room; displays Claude Monet’s artistic testament, inspired by the “water garden at his property in Giverny, outside Paris—in Giverny, don’t miss Monet’s famous curved bridge; a picture op.

Notre Dame Cathedral – This Gothic masterpiece will take your breath away; 1500 years of Holy music; mass schedule; panoramic views—more than magnificent!

Palace of Versailles – plan a full day to take the tour (20 kilometers from Paris). This incredible palace and property; a royal site was built in 1664 for King Louis XIV. Explore this famous French landmark. It’s well-be
yond the world we know.

Without question, there’s much more on the Paris ‘bucket list’ – it may take a second trip! Au revoir!

Facebook or Twitter—how do you say ‘bucket list’ in French?

 

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